posted on January 8, 2015

Day 3 (Nov. 26, 2014)
Trekking from Routeburn Falls(height: 972m/3189ft) to Routeburn Shelter(height: 477m/1565ft)
Distance: 9km(5.7miles) / Time: 3-4 hours

スクリーンショット 2015-01-07 12.12.24

Map of the track from Routeburn Falls to Routeburn Shelter


All night, I heard the sound of water flowing hard, so I thought it was raining, but it was the sound of Routeburn Falls flowing down continuously. Fortunately, it wasn’t raining. Like the day before, we made our picnic lunch and satisfied our appetite with delicious breakfast again. During the breakfast, it started raining. What a pity, but our guide said something like these words, “Walking in rain makes you feel more connected and close to nature. It’s like mountains are alive.”  In fact, one of our traveling companions stepped out into the rain and started the last day’s walk with his umbrella up, singing “Singin’ in the Rain.” Really nice of him! My daughter and I started walking after him, descending the track through the beech forest to the Routeburn Flats. Walking in rain was also fun!

Routeburn Falls

Routeburn Falls

The walk was much easier than in the two days before. I just kept walking down the tracks enjoying the scenery and taking pictures. One of the spectacular scenes was the alpine pastures of Routeburn Flats with Darran Mountains up behind, which was result of the major slip in 1987. The slip cleared the beech forest from around the track and made it possible to have a great view of the Route Burn River running through Routeburn Valley and the Routeburn North Branch Track towards Mt. Momus(2148m) and Mt. Somnus(2293m) in Humboldt Mountains.

Stunning view (created by the slip in 1987) of Routeburn Flats, Humboldt Mountains and the Routeburn North Branch Track

Walking along the Route Burn River, we crossed several suspension bridges. The flow of the river was large. Because of the rain, a picnic beside the river at Forge Flat, which was the site of an early blacksmith camp, was cancelled.

swing bridge 1

Suspension bridge over small falls

swing bridge across the Route Burn

Suspension bridge over the Route Burn River

From Forge Flat, we walked through the forest of mossy beech trees and ferns. I found South Island robins, though I couldn’t see other birds native to New Zealand like the yellowhead or the kaka.


Fast-flowing stream


bush robin 2

South Island robin











Walking through the forest, an open land came into sight. We kept walking along the Route Burn listening to the river flowing gently. At last, Routeburn Shelter appeared before our eyes. However, because a construction vehicle was stuck at the last bridge over the Route Burn, it took a while to cross it. At the shelter, our guides welcomed us giving high five. We all made it to the finish line!

最後 標識

Routeburn Track sign board at Routeburn Shelter

The ending of our trekking tour was a bus ride from Routeburn Shelter to Queenstown. On the way, we stopped at a cafe in Glenorchy, and there we were awarded “Certificate of Achievement for having completed the Routeburn Guided Walk.” What a privilege and pleasure! 


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